May 29, 2024

Firefighters work to rescue people stuck on the side of cliff in Pomeroy. Pomeroy FD photo.

First Responders Conduct High Angle Rescue in Pomeroy

POMEROY, Ohio – First responders were called to rescue individuals that were over the side of a cliff in Pomeroy in the early hours of April 16, 2022.

At 12:59 a.m. the call went out for Pomeroy Fire Department to respond to the scene for the high angle rescue. Pomeroy Police Department was already on scene to what had initially been reported as a possible vehicle over the rock cliff on West Main Street above Fruth Pharmacy. Officers determined it was not a vehicle but people were stuck. A Pomeroy officer tried to rescue one person that was approximately 20 feet below the top of the hill. Others were stranded further down the cliff.

Crews responded to the scene to make contact with those on the cliff side and check for possible injuries. Due to the conditions, specialized equipment was needed. Equipment to access the people included off-road vehicles to gain access. A call for mutual aid was made to Middleport, Syracuse and Athens City fire departments.

One of the trapped individuals had gained access to a lower rock cliff and self-extricated via a ground ladder to the West Main area. As additional resources arrived, they worked from property off of Liberty Lane to gain access to the parties from the top-side. Personnel used rope rescue equipment and manpower to lower and raise personnel and trapped individuals to safety. After approximately two and a half hours from the original call, all parties were safely retrieved and thankfully uninjured.

The Pomeroy Fire Department thanks all responding personnel for their assistance with rescuing the parties. Pomeroy Fire Chief Derek Miller said, “This is the best case scenario for a difficult and very dangerous rescue situation. Although additional time was taken to safely rescue the persons involved, all parties worked flawlessly to make sure first responders worked as a coordinated group under the direction of the rescue technicians. We thank Chief Jeff Darst of Middleport, Chief Bill Roush of Syracuse and Chief Robert Rymer of Athens City FD for the response of apparatus and manpower to assist at this scene. Special thanks to Athens Firefighters Michael Phillibin and Brian Mace who responded and repelled to the trapped people.”

Additionally, Chief Miller noted special thanks to dispatchers Eric Klein and Taylor Cottrill who kept resources and manpower coming whenever needed. In addition, they were able to keep CAD notes throughout the incident.

Responding was: Pomeroy Ladder 2; Middleport Ladder 16, Rescue 17, ATV 10; Syracuse Truck 30, ATV 3, Rescue 35; Athens Search and Rescue Engine 1009; Meigs County EMS; Pomeroy Police; Middleport Police; and Meigs County Sheriff’s office.